A pinched nerve is best described as a secondary condition that arises from some structural problem within the spine. Identifying the primary condition is the first step to relieving pain produced by a compressed or "pinched" nerve.
Common conditions include: bulging and herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and more.
Nerve roots extend through small openings is the spine called foramina. Many of the conditions mentioned above can obstruct these openings and irritate the nerves that run through them. In peripheral areas of the body this is often referred to as nerve entrapment.
Sciatica is nothing more than a term used to describe pain that occurs with compression of the sciatic nerve. When compressed, the sciatic nerve produces pain that travels into the lower extremities.
Diagnosing a Pinched Nerve
Diagnosing and relieving pain from a pinched nerve is all about identifying what nerve is compressed and what structure/s are compressing it.
X-ray films and MRI's are the gold standard in determining structural dysfunction in the spine. Motion palpation and range of motion tests also give us the ability to identify any biomechanical problems in the spine.
Symptoms from a pinched nerve are quite common in many other spine disorders. They include:
numbness and tingling
sharp pain with bending or twisting
loss of motor skills